News You Really Need To See: “Armenian Genocide: Why Obama Won’t Say the Words”

“Armenian Genocide: Why Obama Won’t Say the Words”

The Christian Science Monitor, April 24, 2015

“As a presidential candidate in 2008, Barack Obama promised, if elected, to refer to the Turkish mass killing of Armenians that began in 1915 as genocide.  But on this anniversary, the 100th, President Obama has once again avoided the word.  In a statement released Thursday night, he referred to the genocide only as ‘the first mass atrocity of the 20th century.’ … The reason for Obama’s reticence: Turkey, and its role as a key ally in NATO and in the conflicts of the Middle East. Armenia, a nation of 3 million people in the Caucasus, pales in geostrategic importance. … Turkey vehemently objects to references to the killings as genocide, promising permanent diplomatic harm in relations with countries that do so.  The Turkish government acknowledges that Armenians died during the war, but adds that many Muslim Turks also died.  Armenians are Christian.  In his statement, Obama seemed to go out of his way to signal that he does in fact view the Armenian slaughter as a genocide, without using the actual word.  ‘I have consistently stated my own view of what occurred in 1915, and my view has not changed,’ the president said.  In characterizing the numbers of those killed, generally estimated at between 1 million and 1.5 million people, he chose the highest figure.”

Quickie analysis:  Apparently the Turkish government thinks that if it bullies enough countries about the word “genocide,” their ancestors somehow aren’t responsible for the atrocities of 1915.

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